Consumers are buying snacks in greater variety and quantity than ever, and extrusion technology produces almost all of them. Snacks are one of the fastest-growing segments of the food industry, and for years, extrusion has been a mainstay of producing new and creative products. Extrusion cooking produces a wide range of finished products from inexpensive raw materials with minimum processing time.
Nutraceuticals and functional foods make up the fastest growing segment of the food industry. As this market grows, food processing companies must learn more about processing these ingredients. Extrusion plays an important role in processing functional/nutraceutical ingredients for food products.
Consumers perceive phytonutrient-containing cereals as healthy foods. Most cereals can be extruded, and cereal-based products, such as breads, cakes, cookies, crackers and breakfast cereals can be processed by extrusion.
Extrusion technology allows producers to engineer meat analogs with true meat texture. Textured vegetable proteins (TVP) are a proven commercial success, and published reports emphasizing the health benefits of soy protein are adding to this popularity. The growing functional foods industry is becoming increasingly interested in adding textured soy protein to its products.
Using extrusion to produce human food products is a new and challenging aspect of extrusion technology. Extrusion’s ability to selectively control water activity is crucial to producing soft-moist shelf-stable intermediate-moisture foods. Extrusion can play an important role in producing nutritionally balanced foods for a variety of markets – breakfast, lunch, and snack bars; camping and military field rations; foods for special dietary needs and for feeding during disaster and famine recovery.
Making The Most of Extrusion
If you’re involved in producing snack foods, functional foods, cereal-based products, texturized vegetable protein, semi-moist food or any other food that can be processed by extrusion, get in touch with us. We can help you get the most from your process or develop new products.